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The power of one single vote was showcased last week, when the 3rd annual “Why 4-H is Great” Contest closed at midnight on August 31, 2012. The public voting took place on the “Why 4-H is Great” Facebook page and in the end it was the Lakedell 4-H Lighthorse Club that came out on top and will now host a Gord Bamford Community Concert. 
“ATB Financial would like to thank the Colchester Crusaders, Drumheller 4-H District and the Lakedell 4-H Lighthorse Club for their high level of participation this year.  As well, we need to thank all of those community members that voted and supported each club in the contest.  Everyone should be proud of themselves,” said Ed Knash, Vice President of ATB Agriculture. “The whole purpose of this contest is to bring communities closer together and to showcase why 4-H is great.  It was very exciting to see how energized people are about 4-H and supporting their local clubs!”  
The last 30 minutes of public online voting saw a fierce battle between the Drumheller 4-H District and the Lakedell 4-H Lighthorse Club, as each community continued to take the lead from one another.  Overall, a total of 1567 votes were cast on the Facebook page and the contest came right down to the wire.  Carlo Vleeming, from Ponoka,  Alberta was the last one to cast a vote and, ultimately, thanks to his one vote, determined the contest winner.  Concluding the contest, Lakedell 4-H Lighthorse Club was declared the winner with 775 votes.  Drumheller 4-H District and Colchester Crusaders should also be tremendously proud of their own commitment made to sharing “Why 4-H is Great” with other communities across the province.  Drumheller 4-H District received 774 votes, followed by the Colchester Crusaders with 18.  
“When our club heard that Gord Bamford was nominated for the “Fan’s Choice Award” at the CCMA’s, we knew we had to take advantage of the wonderful opportunity given us to showcase “Why 4-H is Great” and possibly win a free concert for our community,” said Joan Miller, Assistant Leader with the Lakedell Light Horse Club stated. “On the final voting day, it was great to see everyone pull out all the stops in order to make things happen.   4-H members and their families were out at various locations such as the Lakedell Farmers’ Market, Village at Pigeon Lake, University of Alberta student registration, Tim Hortons, MacDonalds, campgrounds and even the Ponoka Summer Sendoff to get votes for their video.  Everyone got into the action and our whole community rallied behind us. It was definitely a climatic end to several weeks of voting.” 
Local ATB Financial branches also worked closely with the Lakedell 4-H Lighthorse Club to support the production of the winning video they submitted, which demonstrated “Why 4-H is Great” to their community, province and agriculture industry. A special thanks was expressed to Sharon Will from Westerose ATB Financial and Holly Johanson, who is currently on maternity leave from Wetaskiwin ATB Financial.  “None of this would be possible without ATB’s support, on a local level from Sharon and Holly and a provincial level, by providing the opportunity to all 4-H clubs in the first place. We cannot wait to start promoting the concert with our local branch!”, said Miller.    
The Lakedell 4-H Lighthorse Club will now go onto planning and organizing the Gord Bamford concert which will take place at the Lakedell Agricultural Society on November 15, 2012. The Lakedell Agricultural Complex is located near the Village at Pigeon Lake, 30 minutes West of Wetaskiwin (29 km West along Highway 13 from Highway 2).  4-H members and alumni, Morgan McAloon & Chelsea Heaslip and Quinci Jones, will also be included in the special night.  The two musical performances were crowned the opening act for the Gord Bamford concert in early August as part of the “Why 4-H is Great” musicians contest.  
In the past two years, the winning communities selected for the Gord Bamford concert have raised more than $20,000 total.  The fundraising dollars from this year’s event will not only benefit the Lakedell 4-H Lighthorse Club but will also be donated to other local charities, as well as the Lakedell Agricultural Society complex which has and will continue to benefit all levels of 4-H.  
This partnership between ATB Financial, Gord Bamford and 4-H Alberta will continue in 2013 and 4-H clubs and districts that did not win the community concert are strongly encouraged to enter again.  More details regarding Lakedell’s Gord Bamford concert and ticket sales will be released in the following weeks.  Tune into “Why 4-H is Great” and the “Lakedell 4-H Lighthorse Club” Facebook page to find out more.  Fans of Gord Bamford can participate in this year’s CCMA Awards by voting for him to be this year’s Fans’ Choice Award recipient. To cast your vote, please click here: http://ccma.adbeast.com/fanschoice/. 
 
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